Crescent Motors help Burton Albion Community Trust

Michelle’s Story

I work in Littleover, Derby as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant. The children that I support have complex medical needs, Autism and communication and behavioral challenges. The experience that I have gained over the last 14 years has allowed me to work with many children and young adults where life is often a struggle due to their disabilities. However, I consider them to have a fulfilled life and experience a range of opportunities in order to lead their best life! I have 2 children in their 20’s who are now self-sufficient and independent, this allows me to now have time for the things I enjoy. My interests include travel, supporting Derby County, going to the cinema, musical shows and eating out. I also have a keen interest in volunteering and have had the opportunity to be an NHS Responder during the COVID pandemic collecting and distributing food parcels and prescriptions. In addition, I have supported Springwater charity, a local food bank by collecting food items from suppliers and also creating parcels for those in need. Helping others is definitely a trait of mine.

My interest in travel and volunteering led me to Kenya in 2019 with Derby County Community Trust. For a week I was able to volunteer at Jubilee Academy, a school in the slums of Nakuru. This eye opening and thought-provoking visit not only benefited the young people I was there to help, it also allowed me to reflect upon my own life and remind me how grateful I am for the little things in life. During my time there many of the children had unlaundered clothing with holes in them, their shoes were too small, and their socks were threadbare. To us in our society this would be something to frown upon however, these children had the biggest smiles on their faces and a life full of optimism and hope. Part of the trip allowed me to distribute donated items from my family and friends including clothes, shoes, books and cooking equipment.  Again, things that we take for granted made a massive impact on the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of the youngsters.

A day that made a significant impact upon me was the day we bought a new cooking pot that allowed the staff at the school to cook meals for all the children.

On the final day the volunteers donated enough money to feed the children a substantial meal rather than their daily rice and roti. The buzz around the school on this day was both amazing and  heart-warming but also concerning as this may be their final meal until they return to school on Monday. Looking at our own lives, takeaways can be part and parcel of a weekend treat but to not eat from Friday until Monday is unimaginable. Another memory from the trip was during a torrential storm, members of the school staff used this as an opportunity to rebuild a classroom using the mud from the playground. In comparison to our high-tech schools with excellent resources this was the only option for these students to gain an education. To see the children’s faces when the room was completed was a pleasure to see. A most significant reminder of how fortunate we are in times when we just take things for granted.

COVID has clearly made a huge impact on our lives over the last few years and is still continuing to do so.  We have all felt the repercussions of this and have had to make adaptations to our lives. The children of Kenya will have definitely encountered difficult times and challenges and it is fair to say the people of Ghana will have faced a similar situation.  I am hoping to replicate the trip to Kenya but this year in Ghana and play an important role in brightening the lives of people who don’t consider themselves as poor nor sad, just grateful for what they have. The donation  that you have made will make these children to continue to smile, eat again and gain the education that they most truly deserve. To be able to be part of this alongside you is a definite privilege and honour. So, thank you on behalf of myself and the many that will be benefiting from your kind support.

Lyndsey at Crescent Motoring Services said ‘We are delighted to be able to support Michelle as one of the many volunteers going to Ghana to support African Adventures’

We have great admiration for Michelle and the Crescent Motoring Services team will be keeping a close eye on her  journey in April and we wish her well on her adventure with Burton Albion Community Trust.👏